When I was in high school I had a very wide variety of friends. Don't get me wrong, I definitely had an inner core of friends, but I also sought people out from outside our little circle who seemed interesting to me and I was glad I had the opportunity to get to know them. Those people came from all kinds of different "clique" groups and made for an eclectic little mix of people to talk to about a wide range of things.

It was the same thing when I went to college. I joined a sorority my freshman year. The girls in my sorority were fabulous, but I again found myself not only looking to them to bond with but also friendships outside of that circle. All of the people I interacted with enriched my college experience to some extent and for that I am forever grateful. I was an Anthropology major in college and that fostered an interest in me to learn about different people, cultures and beliefs.

In the corporate world, it is somewhat compulsory to practice this because of course you cannot choose your co-workers. Most of my friends since college have been gained through work relationships and unfortunately with a child and a busy job I have not had much opportunity to branch outside of my work friends to seek new relationships to cultivate, something I sorely missed.

In the early days of "internet" relationships, AOL was the big thing. I explored, but found the chat rooms to mainly be a conduit to practice pickup lines with no way for a meaningful conversation to take place. I did not stay long.

Classmates came along next, and although a good way to find old pals, unless you exchanged personal email addresses it provided no real way to stay in touch.

It was a while before Facebook came on board. Although much better than Classmates, I was still pretty much only limited to reconnecting with old friends and getting status updates. Chats were mostly boring (I disabled the feature, in fact, so no one knows when I am online). I needed more and I wanted more.

It wasn't until I checked out Twitter early last year that I finally found the ability to once again build a network of friendships that is diverse and satisfying. I'm pretty picky about who I follow. I like a good conversationalist, someone who has a sense of humor and someone who enriches my Twitter experience. Some of my friends follow other friends in a group, but there are some that I follow who don't know anyone else that I know at all. Each and every one though has sparked an interest in me and has qualities that I like in a person.

We don't all have to get along. We don't always have to agree. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I try to look at how someone treats me as a person. I tend to keep out of negative conversations that don't involve me and because of that, I have forged ahead with some really great followers.

In a way, Twitter is kind of like high school. There will always be groups battling each other. That's a fact of life. I try to look beyond all of that to see the potential of the real person underneath. I am grateful that Twitter has taught me that life's lesson all over again.

Thanks for reading!